The Best SuperHero Movie Ever
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse on the TV front. Serenity - the Firefly sequel - on the movie front. (Also the best SF film of 2005. That’s right. Better than Revenge of the Sith. Yeah I said it.)
All those experiences Joss Whedon accumulated at the helm for each, led him to The Avengers: the Marvel SuperHero TeamUp event of the decade that has been in the works since the first IronMan. With the omniscient powers of perception that 20/20 hindsight bestows, Whedon’s creative journey can be easily charted to see he was fated to make this film. And he hits it out of the park and into the next county.
This is the best superhero movie ever.
Not only does Whedon deftly stick handle his way through a script that incorporates a diverse group of characters - most super powered, but not all - he makes them all equally relatable AND he also nails the action scenes. Surely this film must have employed every SFX house in the industry. All of this is sprinkled with liberal doses of comedy throughout.
Whedon has always written women well and his take on the Black Widow is fantastic. She has a couple of awesome scenes. Especially one with Loki. Another lower rung superhero, Hawkeye, also gets a few moments to shine. So does Agent Coulson, who has been the link through the last couple of Marvel movies outside of Nick Fury.
As expected the more powerful characters have ample moments to strut their stuff. Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner is the best one yet. His Hulk looks the most convincing but more important, has the best action sequences and the funniest moment(s) in the film.
Robert Downey Jr brings his charismatic personae and endless prattle intact into this film and uses it to great effect to entertain and eviscerate those around him. His moments of bonding with fellow scientist Bruce Banner are also wonderful. Sam Jackson is more Sam Jackson than Nick Fury but he’s been that way with all his roles for awhile. Chris Evans plays the earnest Captain America with sincerity and Joss Whedon takes care to make that aspect work in an era far more cynical without making it saccharine.
When you stand back and look at all the larger than life characters fighing each other and an alien invasion it should not work. At best it should be an infantile mess and strictly kid fare. But Whedon skillfully seeds character foibles and seamlessly weaves payoffs for the main cast with nary a dropped thematic baton. You are emotionally invested in these characters because their motivations are human and we can empathize with them. All this must be taken with a dash of comics sensibility. This movie is not plumbing Shakespearan emotional tempests here. But the movie makes it possible for us to put ourselves in their shoes.
That is the best special effect that great movies have been able to do since the start of cinema.
The Avengers merges the comic book and real world with open arms. There is no attempt to ground this movie to feel as real as possible. They just exist together tipping the scale from one realm to the other depending on the dramatic impetus of the moment and/or the players involved.
Whedon has always been able to make you laugh and cry within the same moment. He does it again here.
He also raises the bar for including extra scenes of being worthy to sit through credits for. There are two here. One early on in the credit roll. One at the very, very, end.
That final scene is perfection. The theater broke out in laughter, cheers, and applause. Stick out the credit roll. It is worth it.
The Avengers is an extremely entertaining movie. You will definitely enjoy yourself with plenty of laughs and a gentle tugging at the heart strings.
It is everything you can ask for in a movie.
It is more than you would expect in a superhero movie.